Sports stats

 St. Paul Saints

Three Weeks of Frustration Comes out in Offensive Explosion, Saints Win Slugfest 13-11

April 14, 2024 - International League (IL)
St. Paul Saints News Release

ST. PAUL, MN - The St. Paul Saints offense was tired of hearing about its early season struggles. They entered the game dead last in Triple-A in batting average at .197. They raised their team batting average by 20 points after setting season highs in runs, hits, and runs in an inning as they hung on to beat the Iowa Cubs 13-11 on Sunday afternoon at CHS Field in front of 5,790. The win improves the Saints to 7-7.

It didn't take long for the Saints to get on the board as Diego A. Castillo started the bottom of the first with a solo homer to right, his second home run of the season and the Saints first leadoff home run of the year, making it 1-0. It was a sign of things to come for Castillo.

In the bottom of the second, Patrick Winkel led off the inning with a walk. Tanner Morris followed a single putting runners at first and second. After a fielder's choice put runners at the corners, Yoyner Fajardo's sacrifice fly gave the Saints a 2-0 lead.

The Saints exploded in the third for their most runs in an inning as they put up six sending 11 men to the plate. Castillo led off with a single, Keirsey Jr. doubled, and Yunior Severino blasted a three-run homer to center, his second of the season, increasing the lead to 5-0. With two outs Morris doubled to right-center and Alex Isola walked. That forced the I-Cubs to go to their bullpen for Riley Thompson. The Saints greeted him with three consecutive RBI singles from Fajardo, Dalton Shuffield, and Castillo giving the Saints an 8-0 lead.

The I-Cubs grabbed a pair in the fourth. With one out, they collected their first hit of the game with an Alexander Canario single to left. David Peralta's ground rule double to left put runners at second and third. B.J. Murray brought them both home with a single to left, cutting the Saints lead to 8-2.

Chris Williams got one of those runs back with a towering solo home run to left in the bottom of the inning, his first of the season, making it 9-2.

In the fifth, the I-Cubs snagged a run when Patrick Wisdom singled with one out and scored on a two-out double by Canario making it 9-3.

The runs kept coming for the Saints in the bottom of the inning. Fajardo led off the inning with a single to center. He stole second and moved to third when Castillo collected his fourth hit of the game, an infield single to third. Castillo finished the game 4-5 with a home run, two RBI, and three runs scored. With two outs Severino knocked home a pair with a double down the first base line giving the Saints an 11-3 lead. Severino went 2-5 with a double, home run, and a career-tying high five RBI. Williams roped an RBI double to right-center increasing the lead to 12-3. That lead, however, would not prove to be as safe as it looked.

Walks proved to be a detriment for the Saints in the sixth inning that led to three runs for the I-Cubs. Reliever Jordan Balazovic walked the first two hitters o the inning. Bryce Windham singled home a run making it 12-4 as Luis Vazquez took third on the hit and Wyndham advanced to third on a throwing error by the left fielder Fajardo. With one out, an infield single to second by Darius Hill scored Vazquez getting the I-Cubs to within 12-5. A walk and a fielder's choice scored the third run of the inning cutting the lead to 12-6.

The game got interesting in the seventh when the I-Cubs put up four to get within two. Murray Jr. led off with a walk and moved to second on a single by Vazquez. With one out Chase Strumpf made it 12-7 with an RBI single to left center that put runners at the corners. It was 12-8 when Hill's RBI single scored Vazquez. Wisdom followed with an RBI double and Caissie's RBI groundout made it 12-10.

The Saints added an insurance run in the eighth when Williams collected his third hit of the game, a single off the glove of a diving Vazquez at short. Williams went 3-5 finishing a triple shy of the cycle, with two RBI, and two runs scored. With two outs and Williams at second, Isola made it 13-10 with an RBI single left.

The insurance helped because in the ninth Strumpf led off with a solo blast to left, his third of the season, cutting the Saints lead to two. Ronny Henriquez, however, settled down and got the next three hitters to save the game.

The Saints are off on Monday and return to action on Tuesday to begin a six-game series against the Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field at 5:05 p.m. (CT). The Saints send RHP Randy Dobnak (1-1, 3.65) to the mound and the Indians are TBA. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.

• Discuss this story on the International League message board...

International League Stories from April 14, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

OurSports Central